Some mums swear by Dream Feeding, a bedtime routine that makes baby sleep longer and is intended to allow tired parents to enjoy a few extra hours of shut-eye, but not everyone believes it works.
If you haven’t before heard of a ‘Dream Feeding’, it involves feeding your sleeping baby a few hours after their bedtime, around the time you go to bed.
It is meant to make your baby sleep longer because you are ‘topping up’ their tummies. And full tummies and sleep go hand in hand.
Table of Contents:
- How Does Dream Feeding Actually Work?
- Will Dream Feeding Work At Any Age?
- Positives Of Dream Feeding
- Negatives Of Dream Feeding
- Dream Feeding Safely
The theory on the practice suggests that having a Dream Feed fills up your child’s little tummy, and they stay happy (and asleep) for longer during the night.
How Does Dream Feeding Actually Work?
Like we said, some parents swear by Dream Feeding, but it will only work if your baby is asleep, which means it might take a few times to get it right.
Say you go to bed at 10pm at night, and your baby usually wakes up around midnight for a feed. You carefully pick up your sleeping baby at 10pm, and either breastfeed or bottle feed them until they are satisfied – whilst they are still asleep. The urge to suck is a natural one, so they can sleep through the whole feed usually without waking. Then once all ‘topped up’, you carefully put bubs back to bed. And hopefully (fingers crossed), your baby will sleep longer than the usual few hours.
Will Dream Feeding Work At Any Age?
Dream Feeding usually works better with smaller babies, from birth to 6 months, although some babies will continue it for longer.
Once they’re older than that, they may start to wean off night feeding anyway, and they are more alert. That means they’ll cotton on to what you’re doing, and will open their eyes to engage with whoever is feeding them. Once they’re awake, it can be even harder to get them back to sleep.
Positives Of Dream Feeding
There are a lot of things to love about Dream Feeding. It can mean more sleep for mum and dad, particularly during the newborn stage when everyone is adjusting to those long nights. Also, for breastfeeding mums, Dream Feeding is a great way to encourage milk supply.
Many parents believe that Dream Feeding makes their babies more settled and helps them to sleep for longer. If you’re formula feeding, or pumping, the Dream Feed is also a great time to get your partner involved in the process so you can have an early night and get a really long stretch of shut-eye, just what you need!